With two of the three playoff teams in the minors in action, the Braves minor leaguers at the top levels once again split the results, leading to each series being tied at one. Rome had a day off prior to their second game.
Gwinnett Braves 4, Columbus Clippers 6
- Aaron Blair, SP: 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 4 BB, 6 K
- Emilio Bonifacio, CF: 3-5, RBI
- Sean Kazmar, 2B: 2-5, 2B, HR
A day after holding off Columbus in the ninth inning to take a 1-0 series lead, Gwinnett failed to capitalize off the Clipper bullpen. Clipper starter Ryan Merritt was chased after just 3.2 innings after allowing eight hits and two runs, throwing 80 pitches. However the two runs the Braves got off of him only tied the game as Aaron Blair struggled in the early going, giving up runs on a Michael Choice sacrifice fly and a rehabbing Yan Gomes solo homer.
Tyler Moore and Daniel Castro tied the game at two in the fourth, chasing Merritt, and Blair settled down for his final three innings of the night before being pulled to start the seventh as his pitch count crept up near 100. He was replaced by Rob Wooten, and the wheels came off in the seventh as Wooten allowed four runs to break the two all tie, and put the Clippers ahead for good.
An Emilio Bonifacio RBI single and Sean Kazmar solo homer cut it to 6-4 to start the ninth, but after the Kazmar homer the Braves went down 1-2-3 to end the game. Offensively Bonifacio and Blake Lalli each had three hits, while Sean Kazmar doubled and homered.
Game 3-Friday September 9th in Gwinnett at 7:05 PM
Probable starters: Columbus-Shawn Morimando(5-2, 3.51)
Gwinnett-Chris Ellis(4-7, 6.52)
Mississippi Braves 5, Pensicola Blue Wahoos 0
- Patrick Weigel, SP: 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 8 K
- Carlos Franco, 3B: 2-3, BB, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI
- Mallex Smith, CF: 1-4, R
A day after a heartbreaking loss in Pensacola, where the Braves didn’t just lose a pair of late inning leads but also their best player in the injured Ozzie Albies, Patrick Weigel put the team on his back and tied the series up. Weigel, who was recently promoted to AA, was dominant in this one, pitching seven scoreless innings and striking out eight while allowing just five baserunners. Weigel was followed by a trio of relievers- Evan Phillips, Philip Pfeifer, and David Peterson- who combined to shutout the Blue Wahoos.
Offensively the deciding run came in the second when Connor Lien doubled in a run to give the Braves the early lead which they held on to all the way through. Dustin Peterson had an RBI single, and Carlos Franco added a three run homer to pad the lead a bit in the win. Franco was the star at the plate with two hits, three times on base, and three RBI, but Joey Meneses and Levi Hyams each had two hit games.
Game 3-Friday September 9th in Mississippi at 8:00 PM
Probable starters: Pensicola-Sal Romano(6-11, 3.52)
Mississippi-Max Povse(4-1, 2.93)
Rome had a day off after taking the first game in the series from Charleston on Wednesday.
Game 2-Friday September 9th at Charleston at 7:05 PM
Probable starters: Charleston-Daris Vargas(10-8, 2.95)
Rome-Kolby Allard(5-3, 3.73)